Manuals in PDF format

Many of the more useful and comprehensive manuals have been converted to PDF format. For this you will need Version 4 of the Adobe Acrobat reader. This can be downloaded free from

The files were converted directly from the HTML format, used for this Web site, to Adobe PDF. One side effect of this is that hyperlinks, which enable you to move around a document quickly, remain. Another side effect is that links to other parts of this web site also remain.

The format of the pages varies to give the maximum resolution of the images. Most of them are in "portrait" (vertical) format but some of them are in "landscape" (horizontal) format. This was done automatically by Adobe Acrobat but I think is quite useful.

Description File Size (Kb)
The Slide Rule
The book, written by Florian Cajori, is the standard work on the early history of the slide rule. There is also a version as a Word document which is smaller (2040 Kb). More details on the book are given here.
cajori.pdf 5780
Teach Yourself the Slide Rule.
This is almost a complete book on slide rules use. The author was Managing Director of the company that made Unique slide rules but as this was a comprehensive range it will be useful for other rules as well.
tys.pdf 475
Faber Castel 2/83N
This rule was one of the most comprehensive produced. There are few scales, other than specialised ones, that you do not find on this rule.
fc-283n-eng.pdf (English) 153
es.gif (1037 bytes)fc-283n-esp.pdf (Spanish) 142
This company was one of Britain's major slide rule manufacturers. As well as describing the wide range of scales found on their rules it also describes how to use their patented differential trigonometrical scales.
thornton.pdf 132
Concise 28
A fairly basic but well known circular rule.
concise28.pdf 71
This is a classic "pocket watch" slide rule.
fowler.pdf 57
Otis King
Another classic rule - this time cylindrical.
otis-king.pdf 27
Instructions covering a range of scales - in French
fr.gif (941 bytes)nestler.pdf 658
A fairly basic rule (in German)
de.gif (910 bytes)faber.pdf 144
A well specified German rule. Includes hyperbolic scales (in German)
de.gif (910 bytes)aristo.pdf 478
A beginner's rule (in German)
de.gif (910 bytes)rietz.pdf 65